This article was originally published in a special edition of the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce on February 7, 2020.
Read the special edition here.
By KEN WIERSEMA
Coughlin Porter Lundeen
The updated Seattle Asian Art Museum has been more than a decade in the making. And it’s safe to say that when it opens Saturday, many hands helped bring the renovation to life.
It’s common for Seattle projects to have many stakeholders and be greatly influenced by the community. After all, ours is a community that’s vocal, informed, and sincerely cares about our city’s development. Nowhere is this on better display than the Asian Art Museum.
In the case of SAAM, the Seattle Art Museum’s needs were only the beginning. The structure’s unique home within Volunteer Park meant working closely with many agencies within the city of Seattle, including Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities.
The park’s legacy required navigating original designs by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The museum was designated a Seattle historic landmark in 1989, meaning historic preservation groups had to approve any and all renovation plans. And its position in an active neighborhood meant consulting with deeply invested neighborhood and community groups.
Neighborhood committees, park advocates and city officials all had a voice, and each held different priorities, unique approaches and distinct ideas of what the final product should be.
Decisions made by the project team were greatly influenced by these voices. As the civil engineer, the Coughlin Porter Lundeen team spent much time working with lead designer LMN Architects and landscape architect Walker Macy to develop solutions that reflected stakeholder input. It’s common practice here in Seattle and an essential part of serving a community that’s invested, vocal and truly cares.